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Justine Bernal's Fundraiser:

Justine Bernal

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Justine Bernal

THE STORY:

Service has always come natural to me, it just became apparent in an interesting way. As a high school student I had a rough past. I was in and out of truancy court, skipping class every single day, hanging around with bad friends, and even taking up some extremely dangerous habits. I was eventually kicked out of school and had to attend an alternative high school for delinquent students. As I sat in a cramped classroom every day under heavy supervision I started to ask myself “What am I doing with my life?” I didn’t identify with anyone around me and I wanted to get out of that lifestyle. From then on I knew I had to work as hard as I could to get out of that school and graduate with a high school diploma. I started to take an interest in my moms nonprofits and felt that I was really doing something worthy. Eventually, It turned out that I was a good student and I was able to transfer to Merit Academy the following year. From there I joined every sport team, council, and service club I could get my hands on. I immersed myself in helping others and became Rotary International’s High School Interact President. With that club I created multiple projects for the homeless, foster children, refugees and raised money for a small sister school in Mtulu, Africa with an organization called Kenya Keys. I can never explain the feeling of joy and fulfillment that came to me when I found out we raised over 3,400 dollars for this amazing school. After that eye opening experience I realized that this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. I am proud to say that I finished four years of high school in just my Jr. & Sr. year and am now a college student studying social work and international development. I am so passionate about these students in the Kenya Keys program because the sacrifices they make just to learn is absolutely amazing. I identify with the drive these children have and hope to spread that with those here in the U.S. I wish to discover more about these amazing students and find ways we can better their education and help them achieve their dreams of high school and college. I am truly blessed to be working with Kenya Keys and I am so excited to see what our future holds.

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